Bloomin’ March

Daffodils 006 Wm

Spring has most definitely sprung, chez rusty duck


Our daily climb up the 84 steps to collect the post has become positively colourful over the last couple of weeks. If I’m honest, I’d prefer to see large drifts of Tete a Tete or a similar diminutive daffodil in this spot, small enough to enable the hellebores to take centre stage. It will take a while to pull off. I have been thinning the bulbs of the blowsier specimens that are there but they’ve sunk themselves down so deep over the years I rarely succeed in removing them.

We’ve enjoyed truly fabulous weather this week. Dry, sunny and pleasantly warm once the sun has lifted the early morning chill. It couldn’t be better for gardening. Up on the bank, last year’s perennial foliage is progressively getting cleared, allowing us to marvel at all the new shoots coming through. On the other side of the steps, above, lies ‘Elephant Pass’ and the new rhododendron bed. The last of the refugees have been freed from their pots and properly planted this week. I’ve purchased a new camellia too, to keep them company:


Camellia x williamsii 'ETR Carlyon' 001 Wm


Camellia x williamsii ‘ETR Carlyon’


Helleborus orientalis 'Anja Oudolf' 002 Wm


Helleborus orientalis ‘Anja Oudolf’

Added to the garden last year, Anja hasn’t come back quite as strongly this time around, but she did manage a single (nibbled) bloom. If my previous experience with hellebores comes good again, next year will see a much improved plant.


Helleborus 'Penny's Pink' 006 Wm


Hellebores ‘Penny’s Pink’ (top) and ‘Cinderella’

Cinderella bears the classic downward facing flowers. Even planted at eye level, here on the Precipitous Bank, she modestly hides her true beauty.


Helleborus 'Cinderella' 001 Wm


Helleborus ‘Cinderella’

An extremely uncomfortable camera position is amply rewarded.


Euphorbia 'Black Pearl' 002 Wm


Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’

A curious but, to my eyes anyway, strikingly beautiful euphorbia. I am a sucker for black blooms.


Moraea loubseri 001 Wm


Moraea loubseri


And in the greenhouse, another curiosity. It has a beard, much like an iris, and from a distance looks as though it is playing host to a trio of bees. Moraea loubseri is found on limestone and calcareous sand in the southwestern Cape. It was discovered in 1973 by Johan Loubser, who found it on Olifantskop, at a site which had been partially mined as a quarry. It has never been found at any other location. Although its site is now protected, numbers are extremely small and in the mid-2000s it was even feared to be extinct in the wild. Fortunately it is fairly easy to grow in cultivation. (Information from the Pacific Bulb Society.)

A recent acquisition, it remains to be seen how easy it will be for me. It grows from a corm (let’s whisper it.. rodents may be listening), is frost sensitive and needs to remain TOTALLY dry over the summer. Ha Ha HAAA! You can see why it will never take off in the south west of England. The recommendation is to keep it in an alpine house, but in the absence of one of those I am currently shuttling it to and from the greenhouse, leaving it outside in a sheltered spot during the day for fear that the already excessive heat under glass will crisp those delicate petals. The things we do for love. And for a challenge.


Ipheon 'Alberto Castillo' 002 Wm


Ipheon ‘Alberto Castillo’

On the same shuttle bus is this delightful bulb.


Ipheon 'Alberto Castillo' 001 Wm


Ipheon ‘Alberto Castillo’

The back of the bloom is possibly even more beautiful than the front.


Pulmonaria 008 Wm



Swathes of it now, cascading down the bank and smothered in bees. Useful ground cover but sadly boring once the flowers have gone. It’s still my plan to try and seed the gaps with californian poppies in the hope they will create an orange drift later in the year. Assuming I haven’t missed the boat. Our heavy soil may have already dried out too much for sowing and the weather is set fair for the next week at least. Can’t quite believe I am saying it, but we may actually need some rain!


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find a feast of March bloomers from around the world.


March Bloomers

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2017-10-27T09:45:23+00:00March 15th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Lea March 15, 2016 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 10:04 am - Reply

      Many thanks Lea!

  2. Sarah Shoesmith March 15, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I love that Euphorbia! What a striking form. I beg to differ about Pulmonaria though (despite risking sounding like Mr Lloyd and Mrs Chatto disagreeing over Bergenia). I don’t find Pulmonaria boring after flowering – I think the summer foliage is one of our more attractive weed suppressors!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

      I am happy to differ and be Chatto to your Lloyd, or vice versa. I don’t think we’d disagree on much through. My problem with pulmonaria is probably a fairly specific one due to location. It has established itself in a long drift down the Precipitous Bank which I’d intended as a prairie planting. The low, all green summer growth divides the area up as effectively as any fire break. I don’t want to thin or remove it because it gives much needed colour now, hence my attempt to give it a second season!

  3. Jess March 15, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    That’s a lovely walk to get your post! x

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

      It looks lovely when the sun’s out. Think November, wind and rain, bags full of shopping… 🙂

  4. derrickjknight March 15, 2016 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures from a wondrous garden

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Thanks Derrick.

  5. Anne Wheaton March 15, 2016 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Every time I read your blog, I resolve to grow more flowering plants but alas I get lazy and just divide what I already have instead of introducing new varieties. At the moment my garden is filled with overblown daffodils planted by previous occupants and like you, I’ve managed to thin them a little but they still dominate the smaller, dainty ones. I love your hellebores. Next year …

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Those big daffs seem almost indestructible. And the Spanish bluebells which I suspect were planted here at the same time. I had a blitz on those last year too and they’re sprouting back up as if nothing ever happened.

  6. Backlane Notebook March 15, 2016 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Gosh I’m impressed with your choice and your dedication to the care of such unusual plants-simply gorgeous. I’m someone who wants stuff to thrive from the moment it’s in the ground and then to spread rapidly with little help from me. Note to self- get lots more pulmonaria this Spring.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Yes, pulmonaria will certainly do that. I’ve come to accept that if I want Spring bulbs they have to be in the greenhouse and not in the ground. Only daffodils and snowdrops survive here presumably because they are poisonous. Thus I am starting a mini collection of things that I can protect, pamper and hopefully enjoy under glass while less rodent ridden gardeners rejoice in crocuses and the like growing wild!

  7. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD March 15, 2016 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I don’t think you’ve ever posted a photo of that walkway or maybe I just don’t remember. I know what you mean about smaller daffs. Those big yellow ones are too much for me too. I love all the beautiful Euphorbias you can grow in your climate. I am much more limited.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

      I certainly haven’t shown the walkway for a number of years. In summer it used to be in deep shade but now that we’ve punched a few holes in the canopy I can make more of that bank.

  8. Linda aka Crafty Gardener March 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous blooms, the hellebores are spectacular. That looks like a great walkway for keeping fit on the daily trek to the mail.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:06 am - Reply

      The hellebores are doing well this year. I’ve been planting a few new ones each year, the earliest of these are really starting to bulk up now.

  9. kate@barnhouse March 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I agree with you, the underside of the Ipheon is simply stunning. Your pulmonary a look robustly healthy, how wonderful to have swathes cascading down your bank. I wonder if they actually benefit from being divided regularly. If so, I’ve neglected mine, they look very sorry for themselves this year.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Last year I watched Monty Don trim all the foliage off his pulmonarias after flowering so I did the same. Maybe as a result they’ve been later this year, normally they would be blooming in February. But now that they’re here they are much more compact and possibly more floriferous too. I haven’t divided them since we’ve been here, other than take bits off where I wanted to plant something else. They seem to relocate well.

  10. Your walkway and gardens are beautiful as I savored every step while watching the daffodils, as I pretended to walk along. It looks like spring has definitely arrived for you. Happy Bloom Day!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Thanks Lee. Yes, it’s definitely arrived. In fact we had many Spring blooms in February this year. It’s been very mild indeed, something is happening to the climate for sure.

  11. Sam March 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Wow, that Ipheon is beautiful. And the Cinderella hellebore. And the euphorbia! I’m not sure I’d cope with such a high-maintenance plant as the Moraea – I admire your dedication. Here’s to a sprinkling of (overnight) rain to keep your gardening conditions perfect 🙂

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

      I need a brief spell of severe weather warning type rain.. but I do agree it has to be overnight! Thanks Sam. 🙂

  12. FlowerAlley March 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Lovely! I have a long walk to my mailbox, too. I think I’ll trow seeds all along the drive and see what shows up.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

      It does make a difference to have a pretty walk to the mailbox, although I do get nagged for stopping and looking if we are going out somewhere together!

  13. Khabbab March 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. I love your hellebores. And good to see Ipheon ‘Alberto Castillo’ too. I Am also growing Ipheon but the variety is ipheion uniflorum wisley blue. Very fragrant flower.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Hi Khabbab and welcome.
      ‘Alberto Castillo’ is said to have a light fragrance but I must admit I haven’t been able to detect it. But it is so beautiful that I would have it for its looks alone!

  14. ShelleyB05 March 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. Lovely blooms. I also have a weakness for black blooms. Each summer I wonder if the spring show of the the Pulmonaria is worth the summer drag, but I haven’t convinced myself, and each Spring I’m happy with it again. Happy GBBD

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Hi Shelley and welcome to rusty duck.
      I have exactly the same quandary over pulmonaria and so far it has stayed! I would have more black blooms but they’re difficult to place to avoid them disappearing into the background. At least with the lime green bracts surrounding the flowers they have a chance of showing up with the euphorbia.

  15. Linda March 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I always enjoy strolling thru your luscious gardens, Jessica!
    Such exotic varieties…nothing much here yet….but,soon!
    Enjoy your week….
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      If Spring is here in the UK you can’t be far behind. Glad you’re safely home.

  16. Wendy March 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    The walkway through the spring flowers looks lovely. The Helleborus Cinderella is a beautiful flower, and I love the pulmonaria. I’d like to achieve swathes of this here, too, for mine and visiting bees. I hope your more delicate plants thrive – I’m glad I’m not the only person with a shuttle bus. When we moved I lost the area I kept certain plants in and so I have to move plants around, too, according to temperature (until I get organised). I have a large note here helping me to remember to do it!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      That is the problem with having delicate plants. I dread forgetting to close the greenhouse.. or opening it up before it gets too hot. And what happens if you need to go away? But I can’t bear the thought of a bulbless Spring and that’s pretty much what it would be otherwise (daffodils and snowdrops excepted).

  17. wherefivevalleysmeet March 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    What a delightful walk up those steps to collect your mail

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosemary. It is in Spring and Summer. As long as it’s dry!

  18. AnnetteM March 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I tried that euphorbia once, but it never did well. I am not sure if it has now disappeared completely or if I moved it somewhere and will find it again sometime!
    I love the colour of Penny’s Pink – is that the same one amongst your daffs or is that a darker variety? By the way congratulations on being listed on the Telegraph Blogs to Follow list – impressive and well deserved!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      The one amongst the daffs is slightly darker, that one is Harvington Red. Many thanks re Telegraph, I was well and truly chuffed!

  19. M. L. Kappa March 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    I love walking in your garden, even virtually!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      I love walking in it, it’s working in it that is making me old before my time! Thanks M.

  20. Julieanne March 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    84 steps is a bit of a hike, but those blooms make it worth it. Such a beautiful path. I find Hellebores take a year or more to settle in, so glad to know others have the same experience. Often the backs of flowers can be just as beautiful as the front, and that Ipheon is very striking.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      Yes, hellebores do take their time. The exception has been Penny’s Pink which I planted last year. It doesn’t seem to have even noticed, it’s just kept getting better and better.

  21. Christina March 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, I would happily climb up the steps a couple of times a day just to see your lovely display of daffodils! That part of your garden looks so pretty right now! There is nothing that can beat a mass display of daffs!
    Your new camellia is a beauty, hope it will do well for you.
    Hellebores ‘Cinderella’ knows how to hide its beauty, doesn’t it? It is such a lovely variety.
    You are really up for any kind of garden challenges, aren’t you? Very interesting bulbs, never heard of either one. Wishing you that your extra love and effort for them keeps them going.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post, Jessica!
    Warm regards,

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. I was a bit nervous about getting a white camellia as their blooms are more susceptible to rain damage.. more of a problem for me than for you! But I’m giving it a try. I now just need to find the right spot for it, when we’ve finished moving big shrubs around and it can enjoy a little peace and quiet!

  22. Dorothy/The Nature of Things March 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Just gorgeous. I enjoyed my walk through your March garden.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dorothy. I only wish it was as full of blooms as yours is!

  23. Pauline March 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    No, please no rain just yet! The garden is only just drying out, we cut the grass for the first time today and there is so much more to do as long as it doesn’t rain.
    Love your daffs by your steps, they will get better and better as the years go by and the pulmonarias must be keeping the bees busy!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      I only need rain because of all the shrub moving we’ve been doing. I spent over an hour out with the hose last night making sure they’re all nice and moist. Already the soil has hardened and cracked all around them and the water ran straight off. I shall have to go out and loosen it with a fork before I water again. Perhaps if I wish for a localised deluge, how’s that?

  24. annamadeit March 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    You probably have the most enjoyablet mailbox path I have ever seen. I bet it must act as some kind of consolation, even on days when the mail harvest consists mostly of bills! That shot of the Ipheon is marvelous! I planted mine with white snowflake primulas – can’t wait for them to open. Also thanks for the reminder. I had completely forgotten about Bloom Day. The passing of time is successfully evading me.. Without looking, I would have put us at about the 12th, or so…

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      I can’t believe how quickly this year is going by. Now that Spring has arrived I’m really ready for a slow down!

  25. Tahoe girl March 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Beautiful flowers !!! 84 steps to get the mail??? oh, my, not sure i’d make it:0

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      It isn’t so much the mail as the couriers. Now that we order so much online there are a lot of deliveries.. and they all come at different times 🙁

  26. Anna March 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I’ve never seen or heard of the deliciously fuzzy moraea loubseri Jessica. I’m sure that you will rise to the challenge of nurturing it. No need for an exercise bike in your house with all those steps to climb each day. No rain wanted here until the allotment roadways dry out.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      I said to Pauline that I would wish for localised rain, so hopefully it will miss you too. It really is amazing, after the incredibly wet winter we’ve had, just how quickly the soil has dried out.

  27. homeslip March 15, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, especially the curving steps through the daffodils. I have a drift of blue Ipheon just outside the sitting room doors to the garden. I planted the bulbs under Ceanothus Trewithen Blue bought at Lanhydrock in the 1980s which moved with me to this house. A few years ago the ceanothus died and in the digging out/excavation process I think I lost a lot of the bulbs so they reappear more sparsely now. I’ve had a 25-year-old laurel removed today. I’m ashamed to say I planted it. I came home and saw my two wood pigeons wandering forlornly around the garden wondering where their home has gone.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Awww, poor pigeons. The same thing happened here when we had the beech trees down at the bottom of the lawn. They sat in the neighbouring, rather spindly, tree swaying up and down as the wind blew and looking forlornly into the void. But they have found another suitably solid tree nearby and still graze the lawn so presumably I have been forgiven.

  28. Amy March 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    With many thanks for doing the necessary gymnastics to get that lovely shot of “Cinderella” 🙂
    Such a lovely March Bloom Day post, and you may push me over the edge to trying Ipheion, which I think would stand a decent chance here. I’ve not seen this variety though; it looks exquisite and well worth trolleying back and forth!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      If it could stand the heat, the leaves are quite floppy, I’m sure it would do well. Which reminds me, the sun has just come out.. better go do some trolleying!

  29. Brian Skeys March 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Your woodland walk is beautiful with all the spring flowers, it must keep you fit!
    ‘Alberto’ is very elegant, ours survive outside in the south facing alpine boxes with plenty of gravel.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      I might try Alberto in my alpine trough then, the one I protect with a glass top over the winter. Apparently they do need a lot of light or they flop. As mine has done. It does take away from the elegance of the blooms somewhat!

  30. Daniela March 15, 2016 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Nice blooms! Love the first picture!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Daniela, thanks and welcome!

  31. frayed at the edge March 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photos – especially the hellebores!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      In the absence of bulbs I grow hellebores. They are providing most of the colour at the moment.

  32. Diana Studer March 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Cinderella looks a good candidate for picking and floating in a shallow bowl of water.

    More about the Moraea
    which comes from Langebaan near where we lived in Porterville.
    A floral victim of the iron ore terminal construction.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the link. I do enjoy finding out more about the plants I grow.. or try to as in this case! When I have more Cinderella blooms that will be the way to go. Where I’ve put it I can easily reach it to turn up the blooms. The trouble is I can never keep my hand steady enough to get sharp photos that way!

  33. Janet/Plantaliscious March 15, 2016 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    You just had to ask for rain, didn’t you! Lovely hellebores, and I know exactly what you mean about swapping the larger daffs for their more diminutive cousins. Will look wonderful, but already that’s a lovely walk to collect the post. And it must keep you very fit! I don’t have the patience to coddle plants, but your two delicate little flowers are very lovely. I’m off v to look up that euphorbia…

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Oh no, have you had rain? And if so, where’s mine 🙂
      Hope you find the euphorbia, it’s a beauty.

  34. Joanne March 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    As always, a delightful post xx

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joanne 🙂

  35. Sarah March 15, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    it must be enjoyable to collect the post and notice the changes in the garden at the same time! Your Pulmonaria is now giving you a wonderful show now. Sarah x

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      It was late to happen but the pulmonaria does look good now. It has really brought the bees out too.

  36. Amy at love made my home March 15, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    So much beauty, it must make the steps worth it! xx

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Having thinned some of the trees around there I’m hoping I can make more of that bank now. It was in deep shade before.

  37. Laura March 15, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    That Ipheon reminds me of my favourite Acidanthera. But really, do the stems of the Ipheon smell like garlic when crushed? I wonder if it as unpalatable to rodents as well?

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      I can but hope Laura. I shall crush a leaf and see. With only three flower stems I need to spare those for the moment!

  38. Alain March 15, 2016 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful bank.
    I am glad you showed us the Ipheon. I have planted some last fall and very much look forward to seeing them for the first time.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      I hope they come up for you, the blooms really are something to behold.

  39. Kris P March 16, 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Eighty-four steps! Who needs exercise equipment?! I would enjoy walking by daffodils and hellebores every day, though! I’m coveting your ‘Anja Oudolf’, although I think I must swear off hellebores in my climate, except perhaps for ‘Anna’s Red’ which has proved its mettle. I’ve got Euphorbia ‘Black Pearl’ growing – and copiously self-seeding – in my own garden. I’ve been transplanting some of its seedlings in barer areas of my garden and hope I won’t come to regret that but perhaps our water limitations will keep the plants in check.

    Happy GBBD!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      I’ve had the euphorbia a year and haven’t noticed any volunteers.. I shall go and look now. In modest amounts I wouldn’t mind more but I’ve got quite enough invasives already. That’s another one that doesn’t get eaten. A thought that crossed my mind having just looked out of the window and spotted that the deer are back.

  40. hoov March 16, 2016 at 5:30 am - Reply

    Gorgeous photos. You do those wonderful flowers justice. I enjoyed them very much, thank you. I will look for Moraea loubseri, because “totally dry over the summer” is guaranteed in south western California.

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      I thought of you when I wrote it..!

  41. germac4 March 16, 2016 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Wonderful to see your garden blooming. I love the walk to the mailbox … and all the gorgeous flowers, but especially the Cinderella Hellebores.. I’m off to see if I can get one of those!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      I hope you find it Gerrie, it’s a beauty. The doubles haven’t done so well for me so far but hopefully this one will be better. It’s supposed to be quite a vigorous variety.

  42. pagedogs March 16, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

    It’s hard not to love the exuberance of those daffodils. Maybe you can eventually outnumber them with the hellebores!

    • Jessica March 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      That may be the only way! An established clump of hellebore would surely be able to defeat anything.

  43. Sue Garrett March 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I agree with you about daffodils – I prefer the shorter varieties. Our ipheions and pulmonatia are nowhere near as far forward as yours, As for rain we’ve had more than enough!

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      It’s the watering of all the shrubs I’ve moved, it’s taking up too much time!

  44. snowbird March 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Oh lordy….please, no rain!
    Some lovely blooms here, I am in awe of your 84 steps!!! Good gracious, I bet they keep you fit and

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      I’ve often considered a running route.. up the steps and down the drive, circle back through the garden and back up the steps. Strangely, I’ve never got round to trying it out.

  45. Jennifer March 16, 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Your flowers are so beautiful, Jessica, and you have such variety already. Those steps sound like a challenge, but I’m sure it’s very good for you. I went to a college that was built into a hillside and the entire campus was one staircase after another. In my first year, there were over 200 stairs between my room and the dining hall. I think I would have gained some serious weight if not for those stairs!

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      You must have certainly worked up an appetite by the time you got to dinner!

  46. Island Threads March 16, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Jessica, glad you have been having good weather, at last some has come to north west Scotland as we have had 2 sunny days, Frances

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      And long may it continue Frances!

  47. Jayne Hill March 17, 2016 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Lovely to see your Helleborus ‘Cinderella’. I have/had five but only two have put on much growth so far and there don’t look like we will have as many blooms on either plant either :-{

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      The doubles have never really done well for me in the past but I had high hopes for this one which was sold as a ‘strong grower’. It was a replacement for the one in the home page header.. which expired over the winter. Hey ho. Sounds like I may be on the lookout for another next year too.

  48. Christina March 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Moraea loubseri looks amazing, but it is all the ‘usual’ spring flowers I enjoyed the most in this post.

    • Jessica March 17, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Christina. I need something to satisfy bulb lust.. given that most of them in the garden fail. Although come to think of it muscari seem to do OK, I wonder if they are poisonous too, like snowdrops and daffodils.

  49. Suzanne March 18, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Just a wonderful spring show so far Jessica. Let those hellebores spread their seeds on the bank while you thin out the big daffodils.
    Looking very nice. Still bud less here in NY state. A bit of garden envy, I have……

    • Jessica March 19, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

      The rapid start to Spring has slowed down a bit here now too, it’s got colder again. I will definitely have more hellebores on the bank, but now it’s sunnier with the removal of some trees I hope I can plant some other things too and get it looking colourful for more of the year. It’s been very much a Spring border up to now.

  50. chocolatepages March 26, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

    What beautiful photos. Spring must be really lovely in your area. I love when the daffs come out here.
    Amanda. #weekendblogshare

    • Jessica March 26, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Amanda, thanks and welcome!
      We were going great guns at the beginning of the month but now it’s got colder Spring growth has pretty much stalled. Yesterday though was a real pleasure to be out. Can’t wait to get the warm days back!

  51. Donna@Gardens Eye View March 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Just fabulous…what an incredible climb and well worth those steps to see the blooms…and what a gorgeous photo!

    • Jessica March 26, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Donna. I test my seasonal fitness by how far I can run up the steps without stopping. A couple of years back a DHL man started timing me. Bloomin’ cheek.

  52. Chloris March 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    84 steps? You must be fit. I love your March blooms, your hellebores are very choice.
    I have been digging up daffodils in my orchard to make room for a new project. it is amazing how deep down the bulbs are sitting.
    I love the little moraea, what a dainty little flower and I love to hear all the trouble you go to to keep her happy. A true gardener!

    • Jessica March 29, 2016 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      It is amazing how deep daffodils dig themselves down, they’re a real pain to get out. As with the Spanish bluebells my theory is that if I keep chopping the greenery off sooner or later the bulbs will run out of food… won’t they???

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